Light Therapy: Detection and Treatment of Bovine Mastitis
February 7, 2021
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“Mastitis” is one of the major challenges for the dairy industry worldwide, as this is the most common and costliest disease of dairy animals and contributes a substantial economic loss to dairy farmers. The subclinical stage of mastitis, i.e., Sub-clinical mastitis (SCM) in the dairy cow, is a matter of great concern for farmers as its incidence is more than clinical. In most animal farms, monitoring of sub-clinical and clinical mastitis (CM) is usually performed through an indirect test such as pH, electrical conductivity, somatic cell count (SCC), California mastitis test (CMT), culture test, and biomarker tests.
Apart from these, there is a need for new rapid and sensitive technology to identify udder infections at early stages. Early detection of mastitis using non-invasive technology needs the hour to reduce the dairy industry's economic loss and farmers. Skin surface temperature is a critical indicator of an organism's bio-physiological health status due to infection-induced inflammatory reactions, local blood circulation, metabolism, and skin surface temperature increases. Thus, monitoring the emitted heat from the udder can help in the early detection of mastitis. Moreover, Infrared thermography (IRT) using the susceptible thermal camera can monitor subtle skin surface temperature changes. IRT with the mobile-based application can further play an important role in managing dairy farms on various aspects.
SirWilliamHerschel,aBritishastronomer, in the year 1800, discovered Infrared radiation (IR) in sunlight. IR is electromagnetic radiation whose wavelength ranges from 700 nm (frequency 430 THz) to 1mm (300GHz). IR thermography works on principle proportional to their temperature, all objects using conduction, convection, and radiation, following Stefan-Boltzmann law, emits infrared radiation. Thus, Infrared thermography (IRT) can detect body surface temperature changes due to subtle blood flow changes.
Udder Health Status
Good udder health is one of the important conditions for clean milk production. The adequate steps help in the reduction of udder infections to contribute to clean milk production. Therefore, researchers are trying to monitor the milking process using IRT. Moreover, the udder thermogram can assess the milking hygiene, as the udder surface's cleanliness influences the measurement results, mostly surface temperature. The major concern of udder health is related to the occurrence of subclinical and clinical mastitis. Mastitis is the inflammation of the mammary gland causing physiological, biochemical, and pathological changes in udder parenchyma, result in alteration of milk quality.
Subclinical and Clinical Mastitis
IRT technology can detect clinical and subclinical mastitis. Subclinical mastitis is the major concern as it leads to more economic losses to the dairy farmers. In many cases, the cow's milk productivity and milk quality may reduce permanently. Early detection of sub-clinical mastitis can help diagnose and causative agents and help implement economic loss. The sensitivity and specificity technique used to detect subclinical mastitis using IRT is similar to that of the California mastitis test. An increase in temperature of more than 1oC was an indicator of mastitis and recommended IRT as a complementary tool in the early diagnosis of subclinical mastitis in Holstein and Brown Swiss cows.
Fig 1: Infrared thermogram of udder quarters for the normal and healthy quarter from a lateral view. RFQ: Right front quarter, RHQ: Right hind quarter LFQ: Left front quarter, LHQ: Left hindquarter.
Change in udder surface temperature and its measurement using Infrared thermography (IRT) in sub-clinical and clinical mastitis vary from the healthy quarter. Various researchers documented a wide range of differences. Therefore IRT can be used as a promising tool for the assessment of udder health. But, contradictory results are available in sub-clinical mastitis detection using RT, whereas mastitis can be detected efficiently using IRT.
Use of Light Therapy in the Treatment of Bovine Subclinical Mastitis
Methods: Forty cows with subclinical mastitis (n = 40) were divided into 4 groups (control, photodynamic therapy — PDT, light irradiation — LED, and photosensitizer — PS). The control group received no treatment. The PDT group received an application of 1.0 mL of 2.5% toluidine blue photosensitizer followed by LED irradiation at λ = 635 nm. The LED group was treated with LED irradiation alone, and the PS group received only 2.5% toluidine blue dye. LED irradiation was applied to the mammary gland utilizing an acrylic light guide coupled to the LED equipment. The PDT and LED groups were irradiated with 200 J/cm2 at three different positions inside the mammary gland. Milk samples were collected at 0 h, 12 h, 24 h after treatment for microbial identification and total bacterial count.
Results: The treatment of the PDT group showed a significant difference p < 0.05, characterizing this technique's efficiency with the reduction of the microorganisms Streptococcus dysgalactiae and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus.
Conclusion: Photodynamic therapy was effective when applied in vivo for subclinical bovine mastitis. There was no need to separate the animal from production.
Mastitis is one of the major concerns of the dairy industry, which leads to huge economic loss. In addition to established laboratory methods available for its diagnosis, there is a need to address in the light of early mastitis detection by some susceptible non-invasive techniques as well. Infrared thermography(IRT)using the susceptible thermal camera can be used as a non-invasive technique. Due to udder physiological changes during subclinical and clinical mastitis, IRT can measure the subtle change in udder temperature. Thus, infrared thermography may be a suitable tool for detecting mastic animals' early detection and dairy cattle screening. As there are some limitations adhered with IRT such as sunlight, moisture, dirt, weather conditions, etc. may influence the IRT's accuracy level, there is a need to explore IRT for diagnostic purposes subclinical and clinical mastitis under Indian climatic conditions.
Sinha, Ranjana. (2018). Infrared thermography as noninvasive technique for early detection of mastitis in dairy animals. 37. 10.18805/ajdfr.R-1746.
Moreira LH, de Souza JCP, de Lima CJ, Salgado MAC, Fernandes AB, Andreani DIK, Villaverde AB, Zângaro RA. Use of photodynamic therapy in the treatment of bovine subclinical mastitis. Photodiagnosis Photodyn Ther. 2018 Mar;21:246-251. doi: 10.1016/j.pdpdt.2017.12.009. Epub 2017 Dec 16. PMID: 29258951.
Ahmad, T., Bilal, M.Q., Ullah, S. and Muhammad, G. (2005). Effect of severity of mastitis on pH and specific gravity of buffalo milk.Pak J Agri Sci., 42: 3-4.
Alejandro, M., Romero, G., Sabater, J.M. and Diaz, J.R. (2014). Infrared thermography as a tool to determine teat tissue changes causedby machine milking in Murciano Granadina goats. Livest. Sci., 160: 178-185.
Annual Report, 2016-17, Department of Animal Husbandry Dairying and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers welfare,Government of India, pp 61.
Bangar, Y.C., Singh B, Dohare, A.K. and Verma, M.R. (2015). A systematic review and meta-analysis of prevalence of subclinicalmastitis in dairy cows in India. Trop Anim Health Prod., 47: 291–297.
We live in a 24-hour environment, in which light and darkness follow a diurnal pattern. Our circadian pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) in the hypothalamus, is entrained to the 24-hour solar day via a pathway from the retina and synchronizes our internal biological rhythms. Once we come to this world, one of the first things we need, is food. Naturally, as mammals(from Latin mamma “breast”), we feed ourselves from the breast. But, Human breast milk is more than a meal — it’s also a clock, providing time-of-day information to infants. The composition of breast milk changes across the day, giving energizing morning milk a different cocktail of ingredients than soothing evening milk. Researchers believe this “chrononutrition” may help program infants’ emerging circadian biology, the internal timekeeper that allows babies to distinguish day from night.
What happens, though, when babies drink milk that does not come directly from the breast but is pumped at different times of the day and stored in advance of feeding? Scientists have rarely considered the potential effects of “mistimed” milk on infants’ development, but the implications are potentially far-reaching.
In the same way, rhythmic variations in ambient illumination impact behaviors such as rest during sleep and activity during wakefulness as well as their underlying biological processes. The availability of artificial light has substantially changed the light environment, especially during the evening and night hours. Phones, laptops, ipads, and more around the babies. This may increase the risk of developing circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders (CRSWD), which are often caused by a misalignment of endogenous circadian rhythms and external light-dark cycles. On the other hand, light can also be used as an effective and non-invasive therapeutic option with little to no side effects, to improve sleep, mood, and general well-being.
The architecture of the circadian system
The central master-clock in mammalian species is a paired structure in the hypothalamus with a volume of just about 0.25 mm3 per nucleus. Within the mammalian SCN, a molecular oscillator keeps the clock oscillating at its normal pace. The basis of this oscillator is two interconnected molecular feedback loops of clock gene expression, a detailed description of which is beyond the scope of this review though.
Successful interaction between body and environment however needs more than just a central clock; it also requires input pathways relaying information about the environment and the body to the SCN to achieve adequate entrainment as well as output pathways communicating timing information to the body to synchronize bodily processes with the circadian phase
Sleep, eating, and energy levels all show circadian rhythms, which means they follow a daily cycle. As any parent who has sleepwalked through a 3 a.m. feeding knows, infants are not born with these rhythms fully set. Instead, their sense of day and night develops over the first weeks and months of life, thanks to cues like sunlight and darkness.
Babies vary: Some show predictable circadian fluctuations in hormones linked with alertness, sleep, and appetite, and can sleep for long stretches shortly after birth, whereas others seem to have their daily rhythms upside-down for months. Delays in the development of circadian biology can increase the risk of colic and lead to growth and feeding problems.
Breast milk may help program infant circadian rhythms, helping to explain why some parents of newborns enjoy long full nights of sleep, whereas others struggle to get their infants on a schedule.
Breast milk changes dramatically over the course of the day. For example, levels of cortisol — a hormone that promotes alertness — are three times higher in morning milk than in evening milk. Melatonin, which promotes sleep and digestion, can barely be detected in daytime milk, but rises in the evening and peaks around midnight.
Night milk also contains higher levels of certain DNA building blocks which help promote healthy sleep. Day milk, by contrast, has more activity-promoting amino acids than night milk. Iron in milk peaks at around noon; vitamin E peaks in the evening. Minerals like magnesium, zinc, potassium, and sodium are all highest in the morning.
Daytime milk may pack a special immune punch. Among mothers who provided researchers with milk samples across the first month postpartum, immune components — including key antibodies and white blood cells — looked higher in day milk compared to night milk. Another study found higher levels of a component important for immune system communication in day milk compared to night milk.
While it’s clear that milk changes over the course of the day, scientists know little about what this means for infant health. Researchers do know that the hormones and immune components in breast milk are passed along to infants and that infants are starting to develop and refine their own circadian rhythms during the first months of life. It’s plausible that the chronosignals in breast milk would help to shape infants’ own circadian biology. Differences in infant feeding patterns might help explain why there’s such variability in the development of these daily rhythms from one infant to another.
Fundamentals of light
To understand the effects of light on human physiology, it is important to understand light. Briefly, light is radiation in a specific range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The spectrum of daylight, which is light from the sun filtered by the atmosphere is relatively broadband in its distribution. The availability of daylight depends on geographical location and season. In the timeframe of human evolution, it is a rather recent development that light can be available during all times of day through artificial light. Artificial light allows for illuminating indoor and outdoor spaces. It comes in many forms, e.g. incandescent, fluorescent, or light-emitting diode (LED) lighting.
While light generated by these technologies may all appear “white”, the underlying spectra are rather different.
The reason why many different types of spectra might have the same appearance lies in the retina. Critically, different spectra, even if they create the same visual impression, may vary in their chronobiological effects on the circadian clock.
Recently, the Commission International de l’Eclairage (CIE), the international standard body for quantities related to light, issued a new standard containing a reference framework for quantifying the effects of light on non-visual functions.
Effects of LED light on the circadian clock
Two effects of light have been interrogated extensively in human circadian and sleep research: (1) the acute suppression of melatonin in response to light exposure and (2) the ability of light exposure to shift circadian phase.
The system mediating melatonin suppression has a spectral sensitivity that is broadly consistent with the spectral sensitivity of melanopsin. Similarly, the spectral sensitivity of circadian phase-shifting shows its maximal effect near the peak spectral sensitivity of melanopsin.
The effects of light on the phase of the circadian clock depend on the timing of light exposure. This is formally summarised in the phase response curve (PRC), which describes the amount of phase shift (in minutes and hours) achieved by exposure of light at a given circadian phase. Roughly speaking, the effect of morning light is that it advances the clock, while evening and night light delays the clock.
Both melatonin suppression and circadian phase shifts are modulated by the “photic history”, i.e. the amount of light seen during the day. The long-term adaptive influences of the “spectral diet” in the real world remain an important area of investigation.
Effects of light on sleep
The human sleep-wake cycle, which is periods of sleep during the night and wakefulness during the day, is one of the most prominent examples of a circadian behavioral pattern, especially for babies. It results from the interaction between two factors: the circadian drive for wakefulness and the homeostatic sleep pressure. The activity of the circadian pacemaker is aligned to counteract the increasing sleep pressure resulting from sustained wakefulness during the daytime. Likewise, the nocturnal increase in circadian sleep tendency counteracts the decrease in sleep propensity resulting from accumulated sleep thereby supporting a consolidated phase of nocturnal sleep.
Breast milk, artificial lighting, smartphones, and visual display units
In addition to natural daylight, babies are nowadays also exposed to a considerable amount of artificial light. This is particularly the case in the evening hours, i.e. when the circadian system is most sensitive to light-induced phase delays. Thereby, light therapy is more efficient to delay the timing of the circadian clock and thus sleep.
Even thou, mothers can label their milk with the time it was pumped and coordinate infant feedings to offer morning milk in the morning, afternoon milk in the afternoon, and night milk at night, they keep the constant use of visual units around the baby. The use for the babies is not different, entertainment as well
So, which one is better?
Is always about finding the balance. Rather than only use one of the methods, the responsible practice of light therapy and adequate alimentation of your newborn should be combined to get on track the circadian system
Ruminant nutritionists formulate rations balanced according to the nutritional needs for the ruminant at a specific production level. The assumption being that the cows will eat everything they offered. However, cattle can select their feed, as they put together feed using their tongue and lips. Sorting has been studied most in cows al mixed ration (TMR) since it is often is oftenibitum, allowing cows to pick the feed particles they prefer and still reach the total dry matter (DM) they want. The TMR reports show that the most likely sorting is in favor of the short particles (mostly concentrate) and against the long particles (forages). Therefore, the feeding behavior of the cow modulates the amount of feed she eats, the nutrients she gets, rumen health, and ultimately her milk production.
Several methods have been used to try and reduce feed sorting in dairy cows. Recently, a long day photoperiod has been reported that could lower feed sorting against long particles. Today, Kaiyan provides advanced LED light equipment that is available for commercial use. The LED wavelength can be adjusted to the desired output.
Blue and red wavelength light has attracted interest in dairy barns. The cow eye is not sensitive to a red light, and therefore red light has been suggested as an option for illumination when people need to work with the animals during a time of the day when the cows have night. In humans, blue light is known to cause a carryover effect with increased activity after the light is turned off. If cows respond similarly to blue light, it may be interesting to include blue light in the dairy barns in the late afternoon or evening to stimulate activity during the night. This is of particular interest for automatic milking systems since they require cow activity around the clock. Solutions for dairy barns that include periods of the day with more red or blue LED light are already available on the market, as we now have fixtures of white LED light.
Eating Behavior of Dairy Cows
Encouraging DMI to promote milk production is one of the primary objectives for dairy farmers. The daily eating time, selection, number of meals per day, duration, and number of eating occasions per day are important aspects of feeding behavior.
Factors that Influence Eating Behavior
The environment, age of cattle, teeth condition, feed composition, and processing influence eating behavior. Just like grazing cattle, group-housed cows synchronize their behavior, including eating when kept indoors. The eating behavior of cows is controlled by social interactions, management practices, the environment, and health. Long ago, dairy cows were thought to be crepuscular eaters, motivated by sunrise and sunset timing to go for grazing. However, studies reported that fresh feed delivery timing had more influence on the feeding behavior of dairy cows kept indoors than the time of day. Also, studies found that daily eating time distribution changed following an increase in feed delivery frequency in group-housed dairy cows. The first hour and a half after fresh feed delivery is the period of peak eating activity. Little effect on cow behavior was observed when feed push-ups were done while still some feed in the trough. The feed trough design also affects feeding behavior as cows prefer eating from a feed trough that allows their head to be in a natural grazing position than having their head in an elevated position.
Types of Lights Used in Dairy and the Newly Available Light Sources
Common light sources used in dairy facilities are fluorescent and metal halide lights. During the last few years, LED lights have also become available for animal housing. This is not a new technology; LED light has been used in plant growth research since the mid-1980s but has been costly; hence limited to research only. However, 19 the Haitz’ Law as projected by Steigerwald et al., has come to action, that every decade their cost will decrease by 10 whereas their performance advances by a factor of 20. Now they have become affordable and advanced white LED lights thereby increasing their potential use in animal houses commercially
Advantages of LED Lights
It is possible to adjust the light intensity and spectral composition of LED lights mimicking that of natural day sunrise and sunset, making it possible to control color combinations, e.g., green, blue, and red. A LED light's lifespan is longer than that of fluorescent lights, around 100 000h compared to 8000 h. Furthermore, LEDs thermal output is low, saving energy, containing no mercury, efficient photoelectric conversion, and easy-to-contact to digital control systems making photoperiod management easy, for example, in dairy barns. Due to their long life span, they can decrease production costs as they do not need regular replacement and cuts off labor costs and the often-high risk work task of replacing lights since most barns have very high ceilings. The white LEDs produce light in the wavelength that cows can detect better, with peaks of emission around 460nm and 550.
In one study, ten multiparous pregnant Swedish Red cows in post-peak lactation were used. Cows were housed in a tie-stall barn. They were subjected to a 33-day red or blue LED light treatment during a long day photoperiod with 16 hours day and 8 hours night. Cows were fed silage and concentrate separately. Silage was fed three times a day, ensuring ad libitum intake with 5–10% orts. The concentrate was fed four times per day. Samples of silage were collected thrice a day, and individual orts were collected at the end of the day and the night. Data for eating behavior and milk yield were collected five days before and five days after the treatment period. Eating behavior was determined using the difference in the distribution of fractions of different straw lengths in the silage fed and orts during daytime and night time. A 2-screen Penn State Particle Separator (PSPS) (19mm and 8mm) with a solid bottom pan was used to determine the distribution of large, medium, and short silage fractions. Treatments did not affect total DMI. Overall, cows sorted for the large fractions against the medium and short fractions. During the LED period, there was a difference (P<0.001) in sorting between Red and Blue cows during the daytime. Cows on the Red LED light are sorted for the short fractions during the daytime. Blue cows showed different sorting (P<0.05) during day and night. Their sorting for the large fractions was more pronounced during daytime than night. Milk yield did not change during the trial and did not differ between the Red and Blue groups. In conclusion, sorting activity was greater during the daytime in the LED period, which could have been influenced by the LED light. Interestingly cows seem to have better vision in red than blue LED light. Furthermore, it also possible that the LED light maintains milk yield since no change was observed during the four-week trial in post-peak lactation.
Certified pup parents know pets could easily sense when we’re feeling sad, happy, scared, or sick. Our furry friends could probably read us better than we could read them. However, active pets are also prone to injuries, cuts, wounds, inflammation, and infections like human beings.
If you’re a pet owner, you’d always want to give your pets the best care possible to make sure they are healthy and happy at all times. Thankfully, medicine has innovated well enough to find more advanced treatments and maintenance tools for our canine friends. In recent years, pet owners and some veterinarians have been using safe, non-invasive, and high-tech treatments for pets and domestic animals such as Red-Light therapy.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy has been utilized by the veterinary world to deliver similar benefits to pets, just like humans. Red light therapy is a non-invasive treatment and a form of photobiomodulation that alters animal cells' physiology.
Light therapy produces wavelengths of photons that the photoreceptors in the animal’s bodies can absorb. The light provides alteration to the animal cells that result in numerous benefits such as better blood circulation and natural cellular regeneration.
Multiple studies support the efficacy of red-light therapy to animals. A 2017 study shows how Red Light therapy promoted faster healing for dogs that underwent bone surgery. The findings were also complemented by another study that suggests near-infrared wavelengths promoted bone cell reproduction for dogs.
Red Light Treatment for Dogs?
When our pets sprain their ankles or cut their pads, their cells become damaged. As a result, their bodies need cell energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to repair damaged cells and tissues.
The photoreceptors in their body absorb red light. The light stimulates ATP production in the animal’s body that results in faster delivery of nutrients and better excretion of toxins. All of these processes are essential for the body’s healing.
Red Light also promotes better circulation as it stimulates Nitric Oxide production to help blood vessels remain flexible. Injured or damaged cells need proper blood flow for healing. Light therapy helps in the healing process by increasing blood flow to ensure enough nutrients and oxygen in the affected area.
Red light is beneficial for surface healing by helping tissues that are potent in hemoglobin. On the other hand, near-infrared light can work better on deeper wounds as it can pass through the animal’s body's deeper tissues.
Innovators like Kaiyan Medical uses the FDA-cleared Red Light Therapy pad that utilizes the combined technology of Red Light-emitting diodes that can penetrate the skin and infrared wavelengths that can heal muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Red light and near-infrared wavelengths are the ideal combination of surface and inner healing.
Aside from providing the cells with energy, the light also stimulates collagen production, which aids in repairing damaged tissues. Collagen is an essential protein that can help get rid of scars and wounds.
What are the conditions that can be addressed by Red Light Therapy?
Skin and Surface issues
Other Skin Conditions
Wounds and Cuts
Deeper surface issues
Soft tissue injuries
Pain, Inflammation, and Swelling
Strains and sprains
Salivary gland problems
Maintenance of healthy joints and Bones
Maintenance of healthy Cardiovascular system
Maintenance of healthy Digestive system
Prevention of anxiety
Light therapy can be your best therapeutic tool in boosting your pet’s overall wellbeing. As a general rule, light therapy is a safe and non-invasive option for treating minor issues and maintaining their overall health. However, if your pet is undergoing more severe health problems, it’s best to consult your veterinarian for a more conducive treatment plan. While red light therapy is not a panacea for all your dog’s health issues, it’s a low-risk and pain-free option to complement treatments and to promote overall wellness for your beloved pet.
LED light therapy is really a way to help the body heal itself. In Kaiyan, we have used specific wavelengths of light absorbed by a photo acceptor, cytochrome c oxidase, within the cell's mitochondria. The energy (photons) from the lights increases the energy within the cell, which speeds up the healing process. The lights must be specific wavelengths and must be delivered at a specific dosage. We use two wavelengths in our light therapy pads, a visible red and a near-infrared wavelength. Using both red and near-infrared lights is beneficial because different depths of tissue absorb the wavelengths. The combination of the two work in concert to provide benefits for soft tissue injuries, inflammation, ligament soreness, tendon problems, sore backs, splints, strains, stifle issues, sprains, swelling, shoulder pain, hip pain, sore backs, sore necks, salivary gland problems, wounds, cuts, scrapes, arthritis pain and for trigger points and acupuncture points. Visible red light (660nm) is absorbed by skin layers very efficiently and best for uses such as stimulating trigger and acupuncture points and treating wounds and infections. Near-infrared light (850nm) penetrates to a deeper level has been used to treat concerns of tendons, ligaments, bones, joints, and muscle.
When nursing skin wounds of horses, such as lacerations or deep abrasions, owners often seek ways to maximize healing and minimize scarring, particularly when high-motion areas are involved.
“In horses, dermal injuries can be slow to heal, cause excessive scarring, and prolong a horse’s layup. In some cases, especially wounds of the limbs, proud flesh may develop in response to exuberant healing efforts,”
Medical-grade honey, fly larvae, and other strategies have been tested to speed wound healing. Most recently, Swedish researchers explored the use of irradiation with light-emitting diodes (LEDs), called photobiomodulation, in jump-starting wound repair. The LED used in the study features a pulsating visible red light and near-infrared (NIR) light.
“Some research shows that LEDs stimulate wound healing and decrease swelling and inflammation. With this in mind, veterinarians were hopeful that low-level light treatment could expedite wound repair in horses,” Whitehouse explained.
In this study, researchers created two circular skin wounds on the necks of eight healthy horses. One wound was treated with a combination of red light and NIR light for 4 minutes and 40 seconds on specific treatment days during the 25-day study period. The other wound on each horse remained untreated. The researchers photographed and assessed the wounds for the degree of swelling using ultrasound.
Area and degree of swelling did not differ between treated and untreated wounds, prompting researchers to conclude that red light and NIR light had no clinically relevant positive effect on horses' wound healing.
A veterinarian should examine all significant wounds. Extensive wounds with significant blood loss or tissue damage should be considered medical emergencies.